Frame.Figure.Field by Delhi Art Gallery

Delhi Art Gallery, Frame. Figure. Field.

Delhi Art Gallery hosted a cocktail preview of Frame. Figure. Field; a group show of an eclectic collection of artworks by twenty-two artists. The show highlighted some of the pictorial propositions manifested in the 20th century Modern Indian painting and its overlapping with contemporary art practice.

Art Exhibition previously on in India.
From Friday 17 October 2008 to Thursday 20 November 2008
Launch Friday 17 October 2008, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (IST)

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Published by anonymous on Thursday 30 October 2008.
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The participating artists include Shobha Broota, Avinash Chandra, Amitava Das, C Douglas, Shanti Dave, Jaya Ganguly, Sheela Gowda, Satish Gujral, M F Husain, P Khemraj, Ambadas Khobragade, Sovan Kumar, Altaf Mohammedi, Rabin Mondal, Gogi Saroj Pal, Sohan Qadri, G R Santosh, Paritosh Sen, Nataraj Sharma, F N Souza, Vivan Sundaram and Vasudha Thozhur.

Said Ashish Anand, Director, Delhi Art Gallery: “The exhibition highlights the constant challenge for the medium of painting in present times to reinvent itself and reconfigure meaningful equations between the frame, figure and the pictorial field. It emphasizes on the co-existence of a range of options with artists, especially from the 1970s onwards.”

The works in the exhibition embody radical acts performed by artists within the pictorial frame or field. The purpose of exhibition is not to display brilliant rendering and drafting skills but to attempt the shaping of a personal language that translates formal, conceptual as well as thematic concerns into creative expression. The show brings together expertise of artists from different generations and different regions. For instance, while veteran artist Ambadas Khobragade brings out non-representational genre on canvas, young artist Sovan Kumar utilizes the truck as the main motif for a tongue-in-check portrayal of the destruction of the rural life. Late artist P. Khemraj ploughs the vast terrain of his canvas titled Charpai that communicates depth, surface, illusion, movement and mystery within the medium of painting. Veteran artist Satish Gujral blurs the divide between painting and sculpture through his architectonic sculptural piece meant to be hung on the wall in the manner of painting. Yet another veteran artist Sohan Qadri makes use of challenging techniques in painting. He allows the colour to percolate through the thick hand-made paper he paints on, allowing forms to develop on the other side that he then textures by tearing and blending the surface.

Looking at the works of some women artists, one experiences an extremely vivid response to space, articulated through feelings of nostalgia, claustrophobia or longing. In Gogi Saroj Pal’s paintings, woman’s desire vis-à-vis prescribed societal roles is scrutinized quite persistently. Often her female figures acquire wings or extra limbs, expressing unspoken desires or predicament. In Valley of Flowers, Gogi has transformed the pictorial space into dreamy landscape, the crimson colour representing both the earth and sky in which the female protagonist appears in effortless flight. Acquiring cloud-like wings, her airborne body moves gracefully above the infinite landscape that carries no mark of place or people. While Gogi revels in the openness of the imaginative landscape, Vasudha Thozhur’s jigsaw composition in Still Life with Cat and Bananas presents an unsorted view of life. The crowded spaces of memories and imagination reveal conflicting emotions of desire and dilemma, joy and dread with symbols of fecundity and nurture scattered all over. Inventing ripped anatomies, Jaya Ganguly’s audacious display of disarticulations on the female form symbolizes an inquiry into the ‘unspoken’ depths that engulf a woman’s life. The female body here is not merely a form but bearer of pain, conflict and stressful situations. The ugliness of decadent female flesh represents the body as a speaking subject rather than an object of male gaze. Artist Shobha Broota, one of the strong feminine artists of Indian abstraction, uses the very basic geometric forms to visualize the unseen and links soul, body and mind in their abstract renditions.

Thus, these artists formulate an interesting mix, especially the ones who have now embraced other media and formats, using computer generated imagery, organic and recycled materials and the sculptural-installation format. This is surely an opportunity to see the early works of Vivan Sundaram, Shanti Dave, Sheela Gowda and some relatively recent works by Nataraj Sharma, Sovan Kumar and Jaya Ganguly.

While artists in present times move on to explore and master new media and formats in their art practice, using the video, photograph and site-specific installations, the medium of painting faces a constant challenge to reinvent itself and reconfigure meaningful equations between the frame, figure, and the pictorial field.

Therefore, this group show at Delhi Art Gallery was well worth a visit!